HONG KONG Air Cargo Terminals (HACTL) handled 884,990 tonnes of cargo in the first nine months of the year, up 13.9 per cent over the same period last year. Export cargo was 413,856 tonnes, up 9.1 per cent, import cargo was 367,057 tonnes, up 16.2 per cent, and transshipment goods hit 104,077 tonnes, up 27.4 per cent. Figures released by HACTL show that September throughput was the second-highest in the terminal's 18-year history. HACTL handled 111,172 tonnes in September, just 271 tonnes short of the record monthly throughput of 111,443 tonnes handled in November last year. This comprised 58,187 tonnes of export cargo, up 6.5 per cent from September last year, 39,446 tonnes of import cargo, up 10.7 per cent and 13,539 tonnes of transshipment goods, up 20.6 per cent. 'These figures underline the need to resolve outstanding Chek Lap Kok issues as quickly as possible and ensure that optimum use is made of the cargo space available at the new airport,' managing director Anthony Charter said. 'At this growth rate, Hong Kong could be handling in excess of 1.7 million tonnes of air cargo a year by 1997 and more than four million tonnes by 2005.' HACTL's proposed new cargo complex for Chek Lap Kok has been designed to handle 2.6 million tonnes a year, almost twice the existing throughput of any airport in the world. 'HACTL's approach will enable Chek Lap Kok ultimate capacity to be expanded to nine million tonnes, and ensure Hong Hong Kong retains its position as the leading air cargo hub in the region, if not the world,' Mr Charter said.